11 Iceland Campsites To Explore Reykjavik and Southern Iceland From

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If you are planning to see Iceland in a campervan or experiencing camping in Iceland then this guide to Iceland campsites is a must read. 

 

Iceland is a country that gets under your skin. 

From landscapes covered in ice to moss-covered hills where huldufólk hide and dancing northern lights, it is a country of dramatic contrasts.

It can also be a country most people decide is off the bucket list with Iceland accommodation and food being notoriously expensive. 

Luckily there is a way to see the best of Iceland that won’t break the budget.

Seeing Iceland by Campervan!

 

Iceland Information

 

Waterfalls iceland

 

Where is Iceland?

Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. It lies in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Greenland, Norway and the UK. It is only a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle and is part of the Nordic Council

 

10 Interesting Iceland Facts

Iceland campsites

 

Here are some interesting things you may not know about Iceland:

  • Iceland capital and currency: Reykjavik and Icelandic króna
  • Norwegian Vikings settled in Iceland around 800AD
  • The first parliament of Europe called the Althing was held in Þingvellir National Park, Iceland in 930 AD. Iceland is also the oldest democracy in the world.
  • Þingvellir National Park is also one of only two places in the world where you can see two tectonic plates, the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates clearly drifting apart. 
  • Most of the country is powered by renewable hydro and geothermal energy.
  • A lot of the population still believe in Elves and Trolls.
  • People do not have surnames in Iceland. Instead, their last name is their fathers name with the added -son or -dóttir. 
  • Icelandic Horses are unique to the island and have their own special gait called the tölt. They are the only breed allowed in Iceland and if a horse leaves the country, they can never return. They are also super friendly!
  • The largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull is in Iceland. It covers around 8% of the country’s landmass.
  • Beer was banned until 1989 and you will find hotdogs EVERYWHERE. If you fancy some traditional snacks you can munch on skyr ( a delicious creamy dairy product), Hákarl (Fermented Shark) or Svið (Sheep’s head). Find more interesting Iceland food here

 

What is the best time of year to go to Iceland?

 

Northern Lights Europe

 

  • June – August for better weather and longer days
  • February, March, September, and October for the best time to see northern lights in Iceland
  • May – September for whale watching
  • Mid-April to Mid-August to see Puffins 

The best time to visit Iceland will vary on how you are traveling and what you want to experience while you are on your Iceland vacation. 

Most travelers visit Iceland in Summer with peak season in Iceland being mid-June through to August. Although days are long and the Iceland climate mostly comfortable, expect crowds, especially at popular tourist areas like the Golden Circle and an increase in prices.

If you dream of seeing the Northern Lights then the best time to visit Iceland are the months of February, March, September, and October. With nearly endless nights, your chances of seeing the aurora borealis are much higher but weather conditions will be tough and you may experience road closures.  

Also, be aware that some campsites may be closed offseason. We share more details for each campsite below. 

Wildlife lover? Then the best time to visit Iceland maybe May to September to see whales or Mid April to Mid August for a chance to see Puffins.  

Thinking of visiting Iceland in September? This is when we took our first trip. Although we missed out on some sites like the Ice cave and puffins, we got to watch locals bring in their sheep for the winter ( just be sure to be on the right side of your destination as you can get stuck behind thousands of sheep for hours), experienced the Northern lights in the early hours of the morning and had many of the Iceland attractions to ourselves. 

For more in-depth information and average temperatures in Iceland check out this post on when to travel to Iceland.

Iceland has extreme weather changes at any time of the year, even if Summer. So whenever you decide to travel be prepared with the right clothing and gear. We share some great tips at the end of this post. 

 

Places To Visit In Iceland

There are so many things to do in Iceland, that it can be overwhelming when you are trying to plan your Iceland itinerary. 

Here are some ideas for what to do in Iceland:

  • See Icebergs at Jökulsárlón and on Diamond Beach
  • Explore the dramatic Þingvellir National Park
  • Walk behind a waterfall at Seljalandsfoss
  • Get off the beaten track at Snæfellsnes and walk through lava tunnels 35 meters underground
  • See Europes most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss
  • Walk along black sand beaches and see basalt seas stacks at Reynisdrangar
  • Find secret hot springs and soak in them while admiring the stunning landscapes.

 

 

Trips To Iceland

Iceland Ring Road

 

A great idea before checking out campsites is to have a rough itinerary of the sites you would like to see.

An important note is to be realistic about drive times. As much as we all would love to see everything Iceland has to offer, in reality, you are never going to do that in a week or two.

Choose your must-see Iceland destinations then check out what campsites are nearby. Driving in Iceland can take longer than expected for a few reasons: 

  1. You will want to stop A LOT to admire the scenery and explore landscapes and waterfalls that don’t even make it in the guidebooks.
  2. The roads can be sometimes challenging, especially with a campervan. Even though the Ring road is the main road in Iceland, parts of the road are not surfaced. 
  3. Most Campervans can not travel on F roads and in other areas, check with your rental company before planning your itinerary and campsites. 
  4. The weather is unpredictable. Winds can be extremely dangerous and may hold up your trip.

Before showing you more about campervan rental in Iceland and the best campsites in Iceland here is a note about wild camping in Iceland. 

 

Can you camp for free in Iceland?

I’m sure you have seen images of people wild camping in Iceland but the truth of the matter is a little different.

While technically not illegal in most parts of Iceland (yet) there are many restrictions to wild camping. Free camping in Iceland is just that, camping..in a tent! There are also a whole lot of laws about what land you can camp on, where you can camp and other stipulations such as there being no actual campsites in the area. Find out more about wild camping regulations here

The laws are in place to help protect this beautiful country and respect the Icelandic people. Please follow them. By paying for campsites you are also helping Icelandic tourism.

If you are choosing to visit this country because you want to see the natural wonders then be a responsible traveler and help Iceland stay beautiful for those that follow in your footsteps.  

 

Camping Iceland

If you are planning on an Iceland camping trip here are a few things to think about.

Probably the main thing to consider when tent camping in Iceland is that the weather is ALWAYS unpredictable, even in summer. Winds can be extremely high ( I’ve seen cars with doors repaired after they have been bent backward by the wind here) and you will probably experience some rain. It can also change very quickly. 

Be sure to always check for road closures and conditions. You can find updated information here. 

Another thing if you are heading around the Ring Road is that services can be few and far between. Be sure to stock up with food and petrol when you see facilities. 

Iceland Camping Equipment

Of course, you can bring your own camping equipment but a cheaper option than paying for all that luggage on flights is Iceland camping equipment rental.  One company that rents camping gear is here

Please note we haven’t used this company ourselves so if you have any feedback we would love to be able to add it to this post. 

Another option is to look at self-drive tours of Iceland that include car rental and camping equipment. 

 

Iceland Camper Rental

 

motorhome camping in Iceland

 

Campervan hire in Iceland is super easy. Although finding a cheap campervan in Iceland may be a stretch it is definitely the best option for your budget if you like the comfort of a bed rather than a tent. 

In Iceland, van rental is limited so it is best to make sure you book ahead as soon as you know your dates for your Iceland vacation, especially if you are traveling in peak season. 

There are lots of companies to choose from and reviews on the best campervan rental in Iceland. We won’t suggest which company you go with but here are some tips that will help your trip run smoothly:

Iceland Campervan Rental Tips

  • Get Insurance. Yes, it may be expensive but it’s better to be safe. Our campervan got totaled a day before we hired it, I seriously hope the poor travelers had insurance. Sheep roam freely, winds can bend doors and driving conditions difficult. 
  • Consider what sites you want to see and how big your campervan is. Due to our campervan being unavailable the first day we arrived we had to hire a car to explore the Golden Circle. This actually turned out to be a blessing as we would have found parking difficult in a large family sized camper. Do your research about road conditions and parking facilities of those places you want to visit before choosing what style and size camper you hire. 
  • Hit the supermarkets like Bónus or Krónan and stock up on supplies before you set off. This will save you a lot of money. These bigger chain stores aren’t available in some of the smaller towns around Iceland. 
  • Do not buy bottled water. Icelandic water is amazing and safe to drink. You can refill water bottles at campsites. 
  • Splash out on extras like an inverter and extra bedding. Nights can get chilly.  
  • Make sure you know the driving regulations. Find a guide to Iceland road rules here. 
  • If this is the first time you are renting a camper then make sure you read these great campervan tips for first timers to make sure your trip runs smoothly. 
 

 

Camping Card Iceland

One of the best things to purchase is the “camping card Iceland”. 

This card is valid for 28 nights ( until 15th September each year) and covers access to 38 different campsites around Iceland for 2 adults and up to 4 kids. 

At around 160 Euro it’s a great deal and can save you quite a bit on camping Iceland prices.

Be sure to note that not ALL campsites in Iceland are part of the camping card. We found a few areas of our Itinerary were not near sites we could use the campsite at but we still think we saved money. Also, some campsites may charge extra for electricity and other facilities which are not covered by the card. 

Get your camp card and find out more details here.  You can also buy the card in Iceland at various outlets. 

 

Iceland Campsites

 

Map of Iceland Campsites

Click this map of Iceland to discover the camping destinations we mention in this post. 

 

Camping Sites Iceland

Deciding where to camp in Iceland can be hard work. For a small country, Iceland campgrounds are plentiful. 

To make choosing easier we have put together this guide of Iceland sites. We have selected campsites close to attractions in South Iceland that you may have on your itinerary such as the capital Reykjavik and the black sand beaches near Vik. 

Because we have obviously not visited all of these sites ourselves we cannot say which are the best camping sites in Iceland. Also, note that facilities and facts can alter. We try our very best to be as accurate as possible but click on the campsites links to see the most up to date information. 

If you visit any of these campsites and have some feedback for us or you have visited any sites that you truly think are the best campsites in Iceland we would love to help our readers out with more info. You can contact us here and we can add your input to this guide. 

Most campsites do not require you to book ahead, but keep in mind if you are traveling in peak season sites can fill up quickly. 

Note that some of these campsites may still be usable outside of the opening times stated but facilities will be closed or limited. 

Camping Reykjavik

As the start or end for most peoples itinerary, camping near Reykjavik is a great way to save some money on accommodation.

 

Reykjavik Campsite

Location: Only 3 kilometers from the city center at Laugardalur. 

Address: Sundlaugavegur 32, 105 Reykjavík.

Opening Times:  This site is open all year round but outside of the peak season of May 1st through to September facilities and personnel at reception are limited. 

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Hot water
  • Swimming Pool
  • Cooking facilities
  • BBQ
  • Internet
  • Electricity
  • Bike rental
  • Close to supermarket and bus stop

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Iceland Attractions: Have fun at Laugardalur Park and explore the capital of Iceland Reykjavik easily. 

Camping Card: No

Prices: Site costs include free showers, hot water, cooking facilities, and internet access. For the most up to date, prices click here.

More Info: No pre-booking is available for this site. For more information check out their website here

 

Reykjavik iceland

 

Hafnarfjörður Camping

Location: A 10-minute drive ( 12km )  from the city.

Address: Hjallabraut 51, 220 Hafnarfjörður,Höfuðborgarsvæðið

Opening Times: 15 May to 15 September

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • Dining available at the hotel
  • Internet at the hotel on site. 

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Iceland Attractions: Explore all Reykjavik has to offer such as Hallgrimskirkja and Solfar (Sun Voyager) Sculpture.

Camping Card: No

Prices: For prices click here

More Info: This campsite is on the same grounds as the Lava hotel. Dorms are available and you are able to use the dining facilities in the hotel. Click for more information. 

 

Grindavík Campground 

Iceland Campsite playground

 

Location: About 50km from Reykjavik and 7km to the Blue Lagoon. 

Address: Austurvegur 26, 240 Grindavik

Opening Times: March 1st to November 30th

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • BBQ
  • Free Internet
  • Playground For Children
  • Supermarket close by

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Iceland Attractions: This is the perfect campsite if you want to explore the Blue Lagoon early before the crowds. 

Camping Card: Yes

Prices: Find up to date prices for this campsite here.

More Info: This campsite has recently had a revamp and is brilliant for families. You can reserve a spot with a campervan before your trip. 

 

Blue Lagoon Campsite Iceland

 

Golden Circle Campsites

 

Úlfljótsvatn

Location: Located on Lake Úlfljótsvatn and part of the outdoor scout center. 

Address: Úlfljótsvatn Outdoor and Scout Center, Úlfljótsvatn, 801 Selfoss.

Opening Times: Open all year

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • Playground For Children
  • Boat Rentals
  • Golf Course, Fishing and other activities depending on the time of year. 

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Iceland Attractions: About a 30 min drive to Þingvellir National Park and an hour to Gulfoss and Geysir. 

Camping Card: No

Prices: Find prices here. 

More Info: Although organized camps and activities are run at here you can still come along and camp. There are some great facilities, especially if you are traveling with children to Iceland. It is also a spot to use as a basecamp for exploring the Golde Circle. Find more about the campsite here

 

Thingvellir national park Iceland

 

Skjól Camping

Location: Within easy distance of the Golden Circle attractions. 

Address: Biskupstungnabraut, Kjóastadir 1Geysir 801.

Opening Times: June 1 to September 15

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • Internet
  • Restaurant ( Pizza )
  • Playground For Children
  • Close to horseriding, golf course, hikes and more. 

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Iceland Attractions: Gullfoss, Strokkur and Selfoss Geyser are all a short drive.

Camping Card: Yes

Prices: Find recent prices and info by emailing info@skjolcamping.com. 

More Info: There is also a hostel here if the weather is bad or you want a night in a proper bed. 

 

Golden Circle Campsites Iceland

 

Þorlákshöfn ( Thorlakshofn )

Location: A little further out from the Golden Circle but located near a cute fishing village and surfing beach. 

Address: Skálholtsbraut, 815 Sveitarfélagið Ölfus.

Opening Times: 15th May to 15th September ( The campsite is closed from the 1st to the 7th of August )

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • Geothermal Swimming Pool
  • Playground For Children
  • Close to fishing, hikes and sports fields. 

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Iceland Attractions: Explore the village of Thorlakshofn, or take the hours drive to see Thingvellir National Park. 

Camping Card: Yes

Prices: Find the most recent prices by emailing ragnar@olfus.is

More Info: You can find out more about Olfus here

 

Selfoss Camping

Location: Located right in the town of Selfoss.

Address: Engjavegur, 800 Selfoss

Opening Times: All year round. 

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Shoe dryer
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • Internet
  • Hot Tub
  • Buffet Breakfast available
  • Close to playgrounds, supermarkets, and restaurants. 

Wheelchair Accessible: Not stated so check before visiting. 

Nearby Iceland Attractions: You can organize tours from Selfoss for outdoor activities like horseriding,  see Kerid Crater, or explore Paradisarhellir Cave.

Camping Card: No

Prices: Get up to date price list here

More Info: If you have explored the Golden Circle then this is a convenient spot to spend the night before heading onwards on your Ring Road Journey. 

 

Camping Near Vik, Iceland

 

Vik Camping

Location: Within walking distance of Vik, this is a great spot to stop if you are driving Iceland’s Ring Road. 

Address: Suðurvegur 5, 870 Vík

Opening Times: 15th of May to 31 October

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing and Drying facilities
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • Internet

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Iceland Attractions: See the Icelandic Lava Show, explore the nearby Black Sand Beach and basalt stacks at Reynisfjara Beach or check out Vik swimming pool. Vik is only a 20-minute drive to Solheimasandur Plane Wreck ( although bear in mind there is a long hike from the car park)

Camping Card: No

Prices: Find prices for camping or motorhomes here on camping Vik Iceland.

More Info: This is a big site but because of the convenient location it can get busy. 

 

Plane Wreck Iceland

 

Thakgil

Location: About 20km from Vik this campsite is set in a stunning valley. 

Address: Höfðabrekkuafrétt, 871 Vík

Opening Times: 1st June – 15th September

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Grill
  • Cold water
  • Electricity

Wheelchair Accessible: Does not state, check before visiting. 

Nearby Iceland Attractions: There are lots of beautiful hikes in the area you can enjoy including an easy walk to the nearby ravine and a longer adventure on Remundargil Ravine Loop.

Camping Card: No

Prices: Click for prices. 

More Info: The road to this campsite seems to be very rough, check your vehicle is capable of the drive. The dining area of the campsite is a cave!

 

Kleifar-Mörk

Location: Near the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Address: Kleifar-Mörk, 880 Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Opening Times: 1st June to 31st August

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Cold water

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Nearby Iceland Attractions: The beautiful Jökulsárlón Lagoon is about 1:40 drive west from here. 

Camping Card: Yes

Prices: Email for prices if not using the campingcard to kleifar68@simnet.is

More Info: Located between Vik and Hofn, this campsite may suit if you are trying to use your campingcard as much as possible. Facilities are available in the nearby village such as restaurants and swimming pool. 

 

Campsites near Jokulsarlon lake

 

Camping near Hofn

 

Höfn Camping Ground

Location: Located close to the town of Höfn this site is perfect if you are looking for camping near Jokulsarlon.

Address: Hafnarbraut 52, 780 Höfn í Hornafirði

Opening Times: All year

Facilities: 

  • WC
  • Showers
  • Clothes Washing
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • Cooking facilities
  • Internet
  • Playground

Wheelchair Accessible: Not stated. 

Nearby Iceland Attractions: Höfn is a good place to stop with services if you are driving the Ring Road. You are an hours drive from Jökulsárlón Lagoon and Diamond Beach. 

Camping Card: No

Prices: Email for recent prices camping@simnet.is 

More Info: Walking distance to extra facilities like swimming pool and golf. 

This is not all the campsites in Iceland of course but we have tried to include ones that are near the sites you will probably want to explore during your Iceland travel. We will keep adding to this guide and add the other areas of Iceland soon. 

If you stayed at a site you think we should include, we would love to hear from you. 

 

Traveling To Iceland

Where to camp in Iceland

 

You will be flying into Keflavik International Airport. 

Get some amazing deals on flights to Iceland here

Most campervan rental companies are not located at the airport so make sure airport transfers are included or you book your own transfers beforehand. 

No matter what time of year you travel to Iceland you will need to be well equipped for the weather. We suggest making sure you have the following on your Iceland packing list:

 

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Camper van sites in Iceland

 

The best guide to Iceland campsites for camping Iceland or Iceland in a campervan.

 

 

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